Tech

Linksys Velop Wi-Fi Mesh Review – For when one router just won’t cut it

For those that haven’t heard of Wi-Fi ‘Mesh’ systems, it refers to a series of Wi-Fi access points or routers that connect together to create one large network. These are incredibly common in workplaces, schools, libraries, etc, and while they’re not a brand new technology, I finally got my hands on one and can gladly report – it’s life changing. I also like to clarify at the start of these reviews that the Linksys Velop is a router, NOT a modem-router. If you want to install one in your home you need a pre-existing modem (your Telco provides these for free).

The good

  • The distance covered is incredibly wide.
  • Setup is very easy.
  • Clean, elegant design that looks nice in most settings.

The bad

  • Occasional dropout issues.
  • App interface struggles at some points.

The verdict

Mesh Wi-Fi systems are expensive, the Linksys Velop retail from $699 – but they provide a seamless solution for what is a serious problem in 2018. I know personally that this device changed the way my home functions at a technical level and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, it’s worth every dollar.

DESIGN

Small white rectangular box with a little blue light would be the most honest description but simple, elegant and non-invasive would more accurately convey how you’ll find the Velop in-home. I don’t have a myriad of ‘hiding’ spots available so you can see how it fits;

The challenge when designing a mesh system is knowing that at least one of the routers will likely be on display somewhere. If you only have the one device, as most people do you could just tuck it away behind a computer/in a study. However if you’re tasked with slotting these all around your home they either need to blend in or look nice. While the Linksys Velop are designed well and do look quite good, they are a little too tall to be discrete.

It’s a question of whether or not you’re too proud to display one. I found that in my relatively dark colour-schemed rooms, it stuck out quite a bit – but the functionality far outweighed the look.

SETUP

The setup for the Velop was interesting in the sense that I thought it would be significantly harder than it was. There’s a small card that comes with the system with the entire installation instruction of “Download our app”. Because that’s really all you need to do – the app then step by step walks you through the unbelievably easy process of establishing your network.

Underneath each node is a router name, password, recovery key, etc, but forget all of that noise because you don’t need any of it. The app picks up the devices as soon as you plug them in and all of this is entirely unnecessary.

PERFORMANCE

So now to technical side of things – the way the Linksys Velop works is by creating a tri-band system, each node or router if you will is it’s own access point to the internet. They group together to form one network to span your property. So this way, as you walk through your house, as the signal strength decreases from one router, it will move you over to the next closest router in order to give you the best and most consistent speed – groovy right?

As far as speeds and bandwidth are concerned there wasn’t any noticeable drop in either at the furthest node than at the main node. If you have a high speed connection like NBN or cable you may experience a slight drop in capability the further you move, but for the most past the connections are really solid.

The only real issue I encountered was that on one or two occasions the app failed to detect either the amount of devices connected to the network or which nodes were currently offline. There were a few days where the furthest node seemed to lose connection to the network and couldn’t provide service, but the app showed that it was functioning normally. Ultimately it corrected itself and became a non-issue, but it was a glitch regardless.

With the Linksys Velop, you’re paying for functionality. The $699 price tag for the 3-pack version is steep for a Wi-Fi system, but it’s incredibly efficient.

You can pick one up online or in-store at JB Hi-Fi or the 2-pack version for $388 from Harvey Norman.

Studying Cyber Security and working for Macquarie Media Limited, John is a huge nerd with a passion for video games and computers.

You will often find him in the streets advocating for the benefits of gaming or just generally nerding out.

Feel free to email with any questions or comments: [email protected]

Linksys Velop Wi-Fi Mesh Review – For when one router just won’t cut it
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